Braunschweig - A research project of the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research () receives 2.3 million euros from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of new drugs against tuberculosis and malaria. As the center recently announced, drug research project will be funded over period of three years.
The HZI and its location in Saarbrücken, the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), have signed up with the Research company Evotec allied as cooperation partner.
The funding of the Gates Foundation will create around ten positions for scientists and technicians financed, which are to work at the three locations at the HZI in Braunschweig, Saarbrücken and Evotec in Lyon. With this public-private partnership, new active ingredients against tuberculosis and malaria are to be identified and established active ingredient candidates to be further developed.
The HZI had already received several funding from the Gates Foundation as part of other research projects and had already worked with the active ingredient developer Evotec worked together. They want to combine expertise in order to overcome the impending risk of resistance, said Dirk Heinz, Scientific Director of the HZI.
By continuing the already proven cooperation between the HZI and the HIPS with Evotec, one is able to to cover large part of the preclinical drug development, said Rolf Müller, scientific project manager and head of the “Microbial Natural Products” department at HIPS. "In view of the declining research activities in the pharmaceutical industry in the area of antibiotic development, this is an encouraging step," he continued.
“The resources of the HZI and HIPS offer unique opportunity to discover previously unknown structures new mechanisms of action and thus potentially resistance-breaking properties, ”said Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec. The cooperation with the scientists at HIPS in Saarbrücken promises successful mutual knowledge transfer.
Evotec is drug research and development company based in Hamburg and has long-term alliances with many large pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer and Novartis and Pfizer. Evotec is also financed by venture capital companies and works with academic institutions.
The listed company entered into partnership with the Gates Foundation in June 2019 for research projects to develop new tuberculosis drugs. Evotec was committed to $ 23.8 million over five years, according to their website.
The Prime Minister of Saarland, Tobias Hans (CDU), also supported the project. He emphasized the importance of the HIPS for Saarland as science and innovation location. The cooperation is also proof of functioning technology transfer.